PHOTOS: Activists Launch Guerrilla Anti-Conversion-Therapy Campaign In Israel’s Orthodox Jewish Neighborhoods
Hod, an organization devoted to supporting gays and lesbians in the ultra-orthodox Jewish community, has been conducting a guerrilla campaign against so-called conversion therapy in Tel Aviv’s most religious neighborhoods.
For the last several months, the group has placed posters on bicycles, trees, trash cans and other everyday items in Haredi (ultra-orthodox) areas which satirically suggest they have been “converted” from different objects: A sign on a bicycle indicates it once was a car, signs on trees indicate they used to be flowers, etc.
The tagline on each poster reads “Please love us as we are.”
While Israel’s mainstream therapeutic community has largely rejected reparative therapy—and the idea of having non-professionals provide counseling—such conversion practices are still conducted in the country’s ultra-orthodox communities, usually by a rabbi or other layperson.
“Since it is impossible to advertise this message in conventional ultra-orthodox Haredi media, we have chosen to use guerrilla advertising as a simple and creative mean’s to deliver the message of how irrational conversation therapies actually are” Said Rabbi Ron Yosef, the openly gay director of Hod. “Same as it is impossible to convert bicycles to cars, it is impossible to convert gays to straights. Hod believes gays can combine religious faith with a gay sexual orientation, and that there is no conflict between the two.”
Check out photos from Hod’s current campaign in Tel Aviv below